Blog for Stephanie Bryant, a writer with too many hobbies and not enough time.

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April 2008
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First serious colorwork

I made this hat for John. It requires two colors in something other than stripes. That means I needed to have two strands of yarn in my hands at the same time,

Trust me, for a knitter, this is a big deal, and represents a milestone in my knitting. Like my first major lace project, this hat required that I develop technical skill that I didn’t previously have.

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The pattern is called “Sheep & Wool hat” and I knit it using Plymouth Galway Worsted and Plymouth Boku, both of which were Christmas gifts from John (yes, this seems odd to make a gift out of a gift…. trust me, knitters and other artists don’t even blink at the prospect). The yarns I chose are admittedly a little scratchy, but they are warm and wool and will soften with wear and washing. They are not machine-washable, but they will hold up in a storm and can double as an emergency potholder when John is camping.

More pictures behind the cut:

Continue reading First serious colorwork

All the Other Stuff

Alladin got sick again, with another urinary tract blockage. I took him in on Monday for a re-check urinalysis (and told them he was having symptoms). I waited around all day with no computer to write and nothing to do, before they sent him home. By Tuesday morning, he was blocked completely. Took him back to the vet for an unplugging, more drugs, special cat food (this is sad, as it means the death of our raw food dreams for him…. dreams which had resulted in him dropping 2 lbs. so far.) Meanwhile, we had been going into the RV park office to say “really, we just need one more day here….” By Wednesday morning, they were getting a little ticked, though I can’t imagine why– we were paying full price for a pull-through site (most parks keep pull-throughs available for overnighters.)

Tuesday, they told me I could take him home or leave him overnight. Initially, I was going to leave him overnight, but the worry got to me. I wanted him at home, with me, in familiar surroundings. Also, I found I couldn’t write without him. John and I went back to the vet’s and picked him up.

Good thing we did. I don’t know who they had him caged next to, but this morning, he’s sniffling and sneezing! He’s already on antibiotics, so I’m fairly confident this won’t turn into anything worse than a little kitty-cold. Still, he’s going to be uncomfortable for a couple of days, and I pity him greatly, because he’s just been sick with one thing or another for almost 3 weeks, and he’s just not that old!

We left Jacksonville on Wednesday and drove up to a place outside Savannah, called Hardeeville, South Carolina. There’s…. not much in Hardeeville, but Savannah’s only 10 minutes away, and it’s pretty and a very old-charm kind of place.

Meanwhile, I am trying desperately to pull a NaNoWriMo out of my ass, and finish writing A Love to Stand On for submission to one contest, one editor, and two agents. The editor and agents I met at the First Coast RWA chapter conference at the end of March. I did pitch sessions with all of them, and they all said “Send me the finished thing!” (Except one agent, who thankfully said “send me the first 3 and a synopsis” which was gracious).

Plus, I started a writing class this week, in Travel Writing, to build some samples and hone my craft and build that network. I know I said I wasn’t going to turn this travel thing into a job, but…. a girl’s gotta eat. The economy sucks, so I’m exploring a lot of options.

And one of those options paid off. I can’t really discuss the details in my blog, but I got a fairly low-key but steady writing job this week.

Yesterday afternoon landed me with a migraine, which didn’t help matters, and I’m just incredibly tired this week, mostly due to stress. I sleep when I’m stressed, which does nothing to take care of the things that stress me out, but does do something for the way I approach and re-energize to recover from stress.

Fiber arts fun

I’m going to put the “rest of life” post in another category. I’ve been doing a lot of tatting and knitting, mainly because I am stressed out about other things and these little projects make me happy and give me the satisfaction of completion. But first, a picture of Alladin earlier today, while we were driving:

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Yes, that’s him laying on my desk. Where I usually work, when we’re not driving. This is him, normally hunkering down in his cat carrier waiting for the nightmare to be over, sunning himself on my desk. (And before anyone panics, there’s a sheet of no-slip grippy fabric under his bed there, so short of an actual collision, he wasn’t going anywhere unexpectedly.)

These two motifs are for my tatting round robin partner, Connie. In a tatting round robin, you specify some theme (colors, thread, etc.) and each person in the round robin contributes an item. In some round robins, the item is a doily– each person starts their own doily, then the next partner adds a row of their own design, the next person adds another row, etc. In this round robin, we’re all beginners, so the motifs tend to be small, like bookmarks. In the round robin I sent out, I asked for flowers.

Anyway, for Connie, I made a lion or kitty-cat bookmark:

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and a butterfly-and-flower bookmark:

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It’s a little hard to see, but the red and blue are both very intense shades.

These two are for my other tatting round robin partner, Bonnie:

A green version of the Cherub Doily, for which I finally learned how to make a split chain, go me.

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Another flower-and-butterfly bookmark, this time in variegated threads:

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This bit is from over a month ago. It’s a One Shuttle Scalloped Edging (PDF), by Mark Myers.

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I continue my forays into lace with the border of the Magickal Earth Shawl. There are 48 repeats of a 48-row pattern to make up the border (just the border– not the rest of the shawl!). How many repeats have I done? Four.

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And a quicker, much more boring knit (the lace is at least exciting and takes a lot of attention), the Spiral Blanket. I’m knitting this in really plain cotton (Sugar n’ Cream), because it’s for a baby to lay on an crawl on and barf on, and I think moms appreciate having something that’s super-absorbant and super-washable. This is for my friend Ken’s new baby, who was born on St. Patrick’s Day. The last baby blanket I finished was for his first son.

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It’s just around and around and around, increasing by 10 stitches each row. I have another 24 rows to go before it’s done.

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It doesn’t look like it, but this is actually a cat in the process of being born. Really. It will be a knitted kitty when it’s all done, for a swap group on Ravelry.

[And oh, yeah, that’s a Kindle…. That’s my Kindle. More on the Kindle love some other time.]

I also, in a fit of creative urging, went to the Knit Witz knitting nights on Wednesday and Friday last week, and joined in the fun and frivolity that is any good knitting group. It was fun. It was frivolity (literally, since I brought my tatting with me on Friday). There was even one male in the crowd (yay for male knitters!) While there, I bought enough sock yarn to make at least 3 pairs of not-quite-matching socks, a skein to make a pair of really cool stripey socks, and the yarn for Moonfire’s socks. They are going to be awesomely beautiful, when I get to make them.

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